My first episode

I have been in school for a quite a long time.  I did my undergrad at Queen’s University in Life Science.  I later tried to complete a graduate degree in Montreal but I wasn’t successful.  This was partly because I became mental ill.

I did not have much luck in graduate school.  I was in the program for nearly four years.  And in those four years, I didn’t produce a lot of results.  Almost all of my research projects failed.  No results, no papers.  This caused me a lot of stress.   I think that the stress was the trigger for my psychosis.

I started believing that my lab coworkers were trying to frame me for a crime.  I was so sure that they were checking my website viewing history, and were watching my every move.  I also thought other people, like security guards at the supermarket, were closely watching me.  I even believed that the security cameras were following me around.  At one point, I thought the other students in the lab were undercover police officers.  All these beliefs made me extremely anxious, and fearful even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.

It was close to Remembrance Day when I took the train back to Kingston, my hometown.  I went home as I thought my mother was suicidal and I wanted to be there for her.  There was a moment on train when I thought they were going to kill me.  I think it was after I had gone to the washroom, and I saw one of the male staff close to the door of train car.  He seemed like he was beckoning me to follow him.  I made a few steps forward and could hear the loud sound of the train wheels moving along the rail.  The door to the train must have been opened.    I was terrified that if I had come any closer he would have pushed me off the train.

I was finally hospitalized in Kingston a few days after coming home.  I spent two weeks in the hospital and I was put on Risperdone, Olanzapine, Clonazepam, and  Wellbutrin.  After my release, I withdrew from my graduate studies.

I suffered from anxiety and depression for months after my discharge.  I was placed into an Early Psychosis Intervention Program, where I was seen by a psychiatrist and a social worker.  This was when I was given the proper diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.